WASHINGTON — Remember coming home from birthday parties as a kid with a goodie bag of your own? Maybe it had a handful of candies, or even a small toy. Well, the unofficial gift bags for the Academy Awards are a little different... They're more like gift hampers.
Los Angeles-based marketing company Distinctive Assets is once again sending out its infamous "Everybody Wins" swag bags to the top nominees. This year, the company says the bags are worth about $126,000 — and yes, that's taxable income.
These bags aren't going to just any celebrity. The acting and directing nominees all get the swag bag — 26 this year, since "Everything Everywhere All At Once" has two directors sharing the nomination. Host Jimmy Kimmel is also included for a total of 27.
The celebrities will be offered thousands of dollars luxury goods, and even more in vouchers for things like vacations and cosmetic procedures. Among the contents: A luxury Canadian getaway (valued at $40,000, CNBC says), vouchers for cosmetic procedures like liposuction and microneedling, and a PETA "Stop Monkey Imports to Labs" travel pillow.
The usual suspects, like luxury skincare and gourmet foods, are included as expected. Reading through the full list, though, some products stand out: The top nominees will get a high-tech meditation "orb," topical pain relief cream, intimate wipes and "the first-ever chocolate box with a personalized video embedded inside." Each nominee can also become the new owner of their own tiny plot of Australian land, supporting conservation efforts.
Distinctive Assets, which also creates gift bags for the Grammys, has been handing out the bags at the Oscars for years. Since the sometimes-controversial bags are decidedly unaffiliated with the Academy Awards, it's up to Distinctive Assets to choose the products.
Founder Lash Fary said via email that the selection process is a "two-way street." The company reaches out to brands year-round, and brand reps also pitch their products in hopes they'll fall into famous hands.
The goal for these brands, Fary says? A bit of visibility that goes a long way, especially for small businesses.
"These nominees are in a unique position to help participating brands immeasurably by simply wearing, using and talking about these products," Fary said in a release. "Marketing and advertising can and must co-exist with the ever-present reporting of bad news globally. This isn't frivolity; it is basic economics."